Betul remains bellwether seat of Madhya Pradesh
New Delhi : Betul Assembly constituency in Madhya Pradesh stood true to its reputation of being a bellwether seat - determining the winner in the elections this time too.
Located in the southern part of the state in the Satpura plateau, Betul elected Congress' Nilay Vinod Daga after lots of ups and down during the counting. And his party emerged as the single largest group and is all set to form the next government.
Betul saw a direct contest between Bharatiya Janata Party's Hemant Khandelwal (54), a former MP and outgoing MLA, and Daga. The Congress candidate defeated Khandelwal by 21,645 votes. Khandelwal got 75,072 votes and Daga 96,717.
In 2013, Hemant Khandelwal won by defeating Congress's Hemant Wagadre by 24,347 votes. Khandelwal got 82,949 votes and Wagadre 58,602.
In 2008 BJP's Alkesh Arya won while in 2003 BJP's Shiv Prasad Rathore defeated Vinod Daga, the father of now Congress winner Nilay Daga, avenging his 1998 Assembly defeat at his hands.
The BJP is in power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003. Betul elected Congress candidates in 1993 and 1998 and the Congress then formed the government in the state with Digvijay Singh as Chief Minister.
In 1990, BJP came to power with Sunder Lal Patwa as Chief Minister and the Betul constituency then elected BJP's Bhagwat Patel.
Except in the 1980 Assembly election, Betul has always voted for the party which formed the government in the state. In that election, BJP's Madhav Gopal Naseri won but the Congress took power by wining 240 seats in the 320-member Assembly.
In the 1977 polls, Betul elected Naseri as an independent candidate and the Janata Party swept the polls by winning 230 seats. Kailash Joshi then became the chief minister.
In the 1967 Assembly polls, Betul elected G. Khandelwal of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) and Samyukta Vidhayak Dal formed the government in the state. Govind Narayan Singh, who formed a new political party called Lok Sewak Dal after quitting the Congress, became the Chief Minister.
From 1951 to 1962, Congress won in Betul and formed governments.